How To Ace A Phone Interview For A Work At Home Job

by WorkFromHome on June 4, 2011

As the price of fuel rises across the country, working from home has become more popular than ever before. Highly skilled professionals are vying for jobs located across the globe that will allow them to work from home, while avoiding long and expensive commutes to and from the office every day. This means that getting one of these coveted positions is harder than ever, since you will be competing against other highly qualified workers from all over the world. Companies use phone interviews to screen for remote workers, so if you can ace the phone interview, you can land your dream job.

Know Your Job

No matter what the company is that you are interviewing with, you need to know the basics about them prior to the interview. This means knowing where the company is located, even if you will never set foot in the company headquarters as someone who works from home, their general size, their industry as well as any recent, major headlines.

You also should know what the job is that you applied for. This means that when you get on the phone with your interviewer, you do not ask him or her what the job is. Instead, you can confirm that the job description has not changed, or ask clarifying questions about the duties involved. Companies are always concerned that remote workers do not take their positions seriously, so show that you are giving your interview a great deal of focus to dispel this worry.

Ask Good Questions

At some point during the phone interview, your interviewer will inevitably ask if you have any questions. Even if you are totally overwhelmed by the amount of information that is being thrown at you by him or her, you still need to be ready with a few questions that demonstrate your interest in the position.

A great question to ask during any interview is what the challenges are that you would face in this position. Do not qualify your question with a reference to your status as a remote location employee, since doing so may give your potential employer pause and make him or her reconsider having a remote worker instead of one in the office.

Asking about the challenges, however, is a great way for you to find out what the hard parts of the job will be. Every job has difficulties, but you should know what the difficult parts of your job would be before you decide to sign on to a position. It could be that the department is understaffed temporarily or that you will have to work a significant amount of overtime. Even if you are paid hourly, you may still decide that this is not the job that you want. Regardless, asking insightful questions is a great way to show your interest to your interviewer.

You also can ask him or her about the position’s future. If you have hopes of growing your career within a company or are concerned that your job may be eliminated in the future, then this is a tactful way to find out. Remember, though, that you are interviewing for the position advertised, so do not make your interviewer afraid that you are going after his or her job immediately! Many companies are interested in building their talent pipeline for the future, however, and thanks to the Internet and other technological advancements, working from home is not a barrier to allowing you to be a part of that.

Answer Honestly, But Tactfully

If you are asked why you want to work from home, it is okay to answer honestly, but be aware of the impression that you are giving your interviewer. This means that while it is fine to indicate that you want to work from home in order to accommodate your children’s schedule, it is important not to give your potential employer the impression that you would not be fully focused on your work if you were hired by him or her.

You also should be careful about complaining about previous employers. You may have left a job because you thought your old employer was a jerk, but complaining about him or her may give your interviewer the impression that you are overly sensitive or whiny. Going into enough detail about why you left a job to give him or her the full picture will eat up your interview, when you really should be working on getting this new job. Steer the conversation back to the present opportunity as tactfully and quickly as you can, to keep your interviewer focused on why he or she should want to hire you, not on why you decided to part ways with a previous employer.

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